Saturday’s guest post by my friend Brian dealt with the subject of alcoholism. I hope you didn’t miss it because it’s an excellent essay on an issue that has touched many of our lives. Alcoholism is a serious problem in America. But, I wonder how many of us are aware that America has what may be a much worse problem than alcoholism or even addiction to illicit drugs. If the statistics in this Zero Hedge guest post by Michael Snyder of End of The American Dream blog true, some 30 million Americans are consuming and may be addicted to prescription drugs for depression and pain. Of course, it will be no surprise to you to learn that getting people hooked on drugs is extremely profitable for the pharmaceutical companies. The article includes a list of 22 “facts” with links to his sources. I think you’ll find this article worth your time to read. For now, let me share a few that I found the most shocking:
#1 According to the New York Times, more than 30 million Americans are currently taking antidepressants.
#2 The rate of antidepressant use among middle aged women is far higher than for the population as a whole. At this point, one out of every four women in their 40s and 50s is taking an antidepressant medication.
#3 Americans account for about five percent of the global population, but we buy more than 50 percent of the pharmaceutical drugs.
#4 Americans also consume a whopping 80 percent of all prescription painkillers.
#8 In 2010, the average teen in the United States was taking 1.2 central nervous system drugs. Those are the kinds of drugs which treat conditions such as ADHD and depression.
#9 A very disturbing Government Accountability Office report found thatapproximately one-third of all foster children in the United States are on at least one psychiatric drug.
#14 In the United States today, prescription painkillers kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.
#16 The number of prescription drug overdose deaths in the United States is five times higher than it was back in 1980.
#17 A survey conducted for the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that more than 15 percent of all U.S. high school seniors abuse prescription drugs.
So, Americans should be the least depressed people in the world, right? Wrong!
#19 If all of these antidepressants are helping, then why are more Americans killing themselves? The suicide rate for Americans between the ages of 35 and 64 increased by nearly 30 percent between 1999 and 2010. The number of Americans that die by suicide is now greater than the number of Americans that die as a result of car accidents every year.
#20 Antidepressant use has been linked to mass shootings in America over and over and over again, and yet the mainstream media is eerily quiet about this. Is it because they don’t want to threaten one of their greatest sources of advertising revenue?
But, the pharmaceutical companies sold Americans more than 280 billion dollars prescription drugs during 2013.
Something is seriously wrong in America and with Americans. Think about it. We make up five percent of the world’s population but we consume 50% of the pharmaceutical drugs and a whopping 80% of the pain killers!!!! What’s with that?
I won’t pretend to know what the answer to this problem is. I doubt that more laws are the answer. But, as a society, we must ask ourselves some questions. Why ar so many Americans are seeking a pill every time they’re feeling down or suffering some ache or pain? (Of course there are many times when medicine is the right solution.) Have Americans been brain washed by the Madison Avenue agencies hired by the pharmaceutical companies to promote their products? Also, why does it seem that the medical profession is not more concerned with getting their patients hooked on prescription drugs?
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?